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Vinette: the Joe Beef Family’s brand new seafood bar
Once again, the Joe Beef family has expanded! With their newest edition of Vinette, the gourmet powerhouse is continuing to dominate the Montreal restaurant scene.
Vinette, a miniresto/seafood bar opened on February 11th, 2020. The address occupies a space at the back of Liverpool House and offers a bright, cheerful and very intimate atmosphere. Vinette takes shape as a seafood bar, serving up some incredible seafood in all of its glory. Full credits go to David Mcmillan, Frédérique Morin and Allison Cunningham, the masterminds behind this project (also responsible for Joe Beef, Liverpool House, Vin Papillon and Mckiernan).
Although it was initially designed to accommodate group bookings, this address will also cater to walk-ins looking to enjoy the Vinette experience on a whim. First come, first served is the M.O, so you’re advised to arrive 30 minutes before hand to claim one of the limited seats. All together, the dining room seats about 30.
The space mimics the name – inviting and unpretentious. “Vinette” is a reference to the constant flow of wine that goes on inside, a major component of the address’ design. “It was Dave who came up with the idea for the name, there’s no real explanation, he probably woke up one morning and haphazardly came up with a name that’s very representative of the place; it was Dave’s natural genius that spoke,” laughs Gabriel Drapeau, Joe Beef’s executive chef.
Of course, the infamous Joe Beef touch can be spotted throughout the decor, which was designed by the three owners themselves. The space exudes that iconic family atmosphere that we know and love, so the overall feel of the restaurant is welcoming and friendly… nothing too fussy. The dining room is truly beautiful. Thanks to the charms of the old building’s natural character mixed with the modernist touches from the owners, the space feels perfect to suit many different occasions. Vinette is a little brighter than the owners’ other restaurants. The kitchen is visible from the dining room, allowing guests to watch the busy brigade as they hurriedly prepare the incredible seafood platters that make this place so special…. It’s hard to beat dinner and a show!
On the menu, Gabriel Drapeau (Executive Chef of Joe Beef Group), Jean-Philippe Miron (Chef of Vinette) and their fine team create a short but delicious selection of seafood plates as well as some dishes directly off the Liverpool House menu. They have promised us a constant rotation of dishes with the hopes of showcasing their multifaceted cuisine to diners. At the moment, the menu features all of Liverpool Houses’ dishes as well as five seafood creations specific to Vinette. The mini menu includes a superb oyster platter – a must try that won’t leave you feeling hungry by the time you’re finished. They offer a choice of two types of oysters : Joe Beef Wild and Joe Beef Select from Tyne Valley in Prince Edward Island, a result of their partnership with Valley Pearl Oysters. We also need to shout out the Colbert crab, the half lobster with seaweed and the Marie-Louise shrimp (our favourites!).
As an accompaniment to the menu, Max Campbell, sommelier at all Joe Beef establishments, has curated an incredible wine list that is similar to that of Liverpool House, with an emphasis on white wines for the food and wine pairing. The list is primarily made up of private imports and features a large selection of natural labels. There is something on the list for all budgets and palettes, but the selection mainly revolves around Old World wines (France, Italy, Spain).
“A space within a space, a menu within a menu,” the Joe Beef family, yet again, is proposing a new gourmet concept to experience on Notre Dame Street West. More intimate and subdued than the other establishments in the family, Vinette indulges its guests with a fabulous seafood menu and delicious wines. We highly suggest this address as your next date night venue.
Congratulations to the whole team for the new addition to the family – a lovely and impressive little address that is sure to capture your heart. They have the full package – amazing dishes, décor, atmosphere and service, so we know it will be a success!
Written by Sydney Carter
Photography by Alison Slattery —